I was a patient at Fox Chase Cancer Center and ended up spending almost 20 days in the hospital. But thankfully, it turned out that I did not have cancer, that the growth that my doctors detected was benign.
It all started in October of 2021. I was having stomach problems—diarrhea that went on for about a week. I hadn’t eaten in days, and I’d lost about 10 pounds. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like going to the doctor, but finally my wife and my adult son told me, “You’re going to the ER.”
When you lose a child, you not only experience emotional and spiritual pain, but physical pain. A few months after the loss of my son in June 2016, I began occasionally experiencing physical symptoms like chest spasms, which I assumed where due to the pain of my grief. My primary care physician, however, suggested the pain in my chest might have a different cause. In March 2017 she ordered an ultrasound to check for gallstones or an ulcer or cyst. By the time I got home that evening she had called and said she wanted me to have a CT scan.
I am no stranger to hard work. Serving in the Korean War, working for 23 years at Scott Paper, and starting my own business doing home improvements after retirement, I understand the importance of discipline and work ethic. Now at 89 years old, I still keep busy helping friends and neighbors with home projects. So when I got the call that I had gallbladder cancer, I did what I always do. I worked hard toward one goal, to beat this disease.
After being diagnosed with liver cancer, Darnell Hutchinson sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Darnell underwent a successful surgical procedure in July of 2016 and was shocked when he did not even need the pain medication he was prescribed. Today he is cancer free and back to work. "People constantly ask me how I wasn’t scared for my life, but I knew with Fox Chase, there was no reason to be. Everyone, from the receptionist, to the doctors and their team, were warm and comforting. I felt right at home."
As soon I got to Fox Chase I could tell I was in good hands. The doctors all felt authentic and I could see that they truly cared about my individual situation, especially my surgical oncologist, who led my care.